Belarusian food exports to be priced in US Dollars
On December 3rd, the Agriculture Ministry set the recommended minimum export prices for dairy and meat products in US Dollars.
The devaluation of the Russian rouble has lead to losses for Belarus when exporting foods stuffs to Russia and making settlements in roubles. Belarus is expected to reduce exports of meat and dairy products to Russia, which will lead to growing stocks in the food industry, reducing imports of raw milk to Belarus for processing, and falling prices on the domestic market due to increased competition. If Russia complains about Belarus charging for her exports in US Dollars, Belarus may offer to pay for natural gas, oil and oil products in Russian roubles.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.